23 July 2017

Saudi Shura tightens rules on early marriages

Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council has recommended four conditions to allow the marriage of girls aged between 15 and 18.

The Shura said in its recommendations to the justice ministry said that no girl below the age of 15 should be permitted to get married, regardless of the circumstances.

The 150-member advisory body added that for the marriage of girls above 15 and below 18, the approval of the girl and her mother and a medical report testifying the girl is physically, psychologically and socially fit for marriage are required.

The other two conditions are that the age of the groom should not be more than the double of the bride and that the marriage contract should be drafted by expert judges.

The Shura Council which includes 30 women said that the recommendations were necessary to ensure no party is harmed in the marriage and that they were based on past experiences of underage marriages. [Gulf News] Read more

Single-faith schools pledge faces axe

Ministers are expected to drop plans to allow Christian, Jewish and Muslim state schools to admit all their pupils from one faith after warnings that the move could heighten community divisions in Britain.

A U-turn would jeopardise dozens of new free schools planned by faith groups, some to cope with the influx of Catholic families from Poland and other east European countries.

Catholics said this weekend they would not open new state schools if they had to reserve half their places for children of other faiths, raising new school funding problems for the government.

Amanda Spielman, the chief inspector of schools, told The Sunday Times that she was “uncomfortable” about allowing more single-faith schools and hinted that manifesto proposals — due to be confirmed this summer — would be dropped.

“Admission 100% on faith leads to increased levels of segregation within communities,” she said. “I am uncomfortable with anything that leads to increased segregation.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT 63 votes] "“Admission 100% on faith leads to increased levels of segregation within communities,” she said."

This is surely glaringly obvious. The danger of putting children into schools where they will never meet people of different faith backgrounds, never ponder on whether it's really fair that a generous girl like Parvati is going to hell for not believing in Christ, or that a kind boy like Oliver is damned by Allah for not being a Muslim, could not be more clear.

As a teacher I passionately believe that we are there to teach children how to think, not what to think - with the exception of the values needed for society to function, such as tolerance, honesty, empathy and fairness - and I think the whole concept of faith schools is bizarre, dangerous and opposed to the very essence of proper education.

[2ND 59] As a Sikh I find faith schools abhorrent-including Sikh faith school they are totally against the inclusive nature of Sikhism enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib .

I have nothing else to add.

[3RD 44] Faith schools should be banned, period. Teaching and brainwashing young children to believe in faith is irresponsible. Investment should be made in science, tech, art, sport schools that would better serve social integration and solid grounding for young minds to question and grow factual knowledge for the challenges future generations will face.

[4TH 40] Ministers are expected to drop plans to allow Christian, Jewish and Muslim state schools to admit all their pupils from one faith The fact that they even considered this is a disgrace for not only is it morally wrong but in it flies in the face of public opinion. Religion (except as a historical study) and politics should be kept out of the classroom.We may then have a chance of eradicating the prejudiced views of the parents through their children.

[4TH 40] Why not just ban religious teaching in schools - anyone who wants their children to follow a faith can do so outside the school environment.

[6TH 37] “Admission 100% on faith leads to increased levels of segregation within communities,” she said. “I am uncomfortable with anything that leads to increased segregation.”

Talk about stating the bl@@ding obvious,the stupidity of some politicians almost beggars belief. [The Sunday Times (£)] Read more

22 July 2017

Police arrest culprits after 5-year-old girl married to 22-year-old man near Shikarpur

A five-year-old girl was on Saturday married off to a 22-year-old man at village Raman Shar in the outskirts of Dakhan Town, some 40 kilometres from Shikarpur, before police intervened to arrest key individuals involved, local police said.

According to an official, a special police party headed by SHO Khuda Bakhsh Panhwar raided the ceremony and succeeded in arresting the nikkah khwan, Molvi Kifayatullah Bhutto, 40, the 'groom', Habibullah Shar, and the father of the groom, Gul Meer. The police also took the five-year-old bride, the daughter of Zameer Shar, into custody along with her mother.

According to police sources, the marriage had been solemnised before police reached the place.

Police shifted the accused and the bride to the Dakhan Police Station and later handed them over to Gaheja Police for prosecution under the Early Child Marriages Restraint Act of 2013. [Dawn.com] Read more

AKP deputy: Useless to teach math to a child who knows nothing about jihad

As part of a debate following the introduction of the concept of jihad, or holy war, in the new national school curriculum, a deputy of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy said it is useless to teach math to a child who does not know the concept of jihad.

AKP deputy Ahmet Hamdi Çamli, who used to be President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s driver, claimed that the concept of jihad is one of the main pillars of Islam. “Our Ministry of Education made a good decision,” said Çamli, who also serves on the parliamentary National Education Commission.

Meanwhile, the dean of the Islamic seminary at Ankara University, Professor Ismail Hakki Ünal, objected to the idea of including the concept of jihad among the five pillars of Islam. However, Çamli claimed that jihad precedes even prescribed prayers in Islam.

“When you look at the Ottoman sultans, almost none of them performed the Hajj because they didn’t want to stop engaging in jihad,” Çamli stated. “There is no use in teaching math to a child who does not know the concept of jihad,” Çamli said on Friday.

Last week, speaking during a press conference to introduce the new school curriculum in Ankara Minister of Education Ismet Yilmaz said: “Jihad is an element in our religion; it is in our religion… The duty of the Education Ministry is to teach every deserving concept correctly. It is also our job to correct things that are wrongly perceived, seen or taught.” [Turkish Minute] Read more

Facebook was where Pakistan could debate religion. Now it's a tool to punish 'blasphemers'

Taimoor Raza, a 30-year-old Shia Muslim from a “poor but literate” family, was sentenced to death in June by an anti-terrorist court in Pakistan. His crime? Allegedly insulting the prophet Muhammad on Facebook.

It occurred during an online debate with a man who turned out to be an undercover counter-terrorism agent. His death sentence, the first to result from a social media posting, is an extreme example of the Pakistani government’s escalating battle to enforce its blasphemy laws, which criminalize insulting Islam.

Established under British colonial rule, the laws have been criticized by both religious and secular reformers, who argue that they are used to persecute minorities, settle personal scores and stifle debate.

In recent months, Pakistan’s interior minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, has increased pressure on Facebook and Twitter to identify individuals suspected of blasphemy. On 7 July, Facebook’s vice-president of public policy, Joel Kaplan, met with Khan to discuss the government’s demand that Facebook either remove blasphemous content or be blocked in the country. [The Guardian] Read more

21 July 2017

Richard Dawkins deplatformed at a book talk in Berkeley for “abusive speech” about Islam on Twitter

Richard Dawkins was supposed to speak at this event in Berkeley on August 9: a talk about his new book, Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Atheist. As you see, the talk has been canceled.

But why? You can guess. The talk was to be sponsored by a Berkeley radio station, KPFA, and they made this announcement—but didn’t even inform Richard before deep-sixing the event. Through the ticketing agency, Brown Paper Tickets, KPFA sent out this email with the “reasons”:

Dear Richard Dawkins event ticket buyers,

We regret to inform you that KPFA has canceled our event with Richard Dawkins. We had booked this event based entirely on his excellent new book on science, when we didn’t

know he had offended and hurt – in his tweets and other comments on Islam, so many people.

KPFA does not endorse hurtful speech. While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech. We apologize for not having had broader knowledge of Dawkins views much earlier. We also apologize to all those inconvenienced by this cancellation. Your ticket purchases will automatically be refunded by Brown Paper Tickets. [whyevolutionistrue] Read more

Muslim mother takes legal action against school over face veil ban

A Muslim mother has launched legal action against her daughter’s school, after being told she could not wear a face veil on its premises.

Rachida Serroukh, 37, a single mother of three daughters, has begun a discrimination test case against the prestigious Holland Park school, dubbed the “socialist Eton”, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea after she was told she would not be allowed to wear a face veil at the school.

Serroukh, a devout Muslim who has worn a face veil for the past 14 years, was delighted when her 11-year-old daughter was offered a place at the school. Not only was it across the road from where they lived, Serroukh – who was born in Ladbroke Grove – had studied there, achieving good grades.

.... But when she attended an evening for parents of new pupils at the school on 13 June, she was shocked to be challenged over her decision to wear a face veil. [The Guardian] Read more

20 July 2017

Left needs to start critiquing Islamism, not defending it

.... In a nutshell, Islamism represents global domination, subordination of women and minorities, a dictatorial system of governance where only a particular type of interpretation of Islam is upheld, hatred for LGBTQ communities and a return to patriarchy and obscurantism. Is this what the left wants to defend?

All sane Canadians advocate social justice. But social justice cannot be achieved through an outlook predicated on moral relativism. Naïve apologists for Islamism assume that anyone criticized is by definition a victim, even wife beaters and polygamists. The supporters unwittingly become a party to medieval practices.

Of course, we must be careful to spare ordinary Muslims who have nothing to do with political Islam any form of bigotry. However, there is nothing bigoted about opposing the pernicious agenda of Islamists. [Toronto Sun] Read more

Saudi woman arrested for wearing a skirt is released without charge

A Saudi woman who appeared in an online video wearing an “indecent” skirt and crop top has been freed.

The woman, identified as Model Khulood, was released after she told investigators that the video was posted on social media without her knowledge.

“She was released without charge and the case has been closed by the prosecutor,” a statement from the Saudi centre for international communications said.

A video of her on Snapchat strolling through an empty mudbrick village alleyway wearing a short skirt and a top that exposed her midriff provoked outraged commentary culminating in her arrest.

Women in the ultra-conservative kingdom are bound by law to wear robes and a headscarf, are banned from driving and require consent of a male guardian for most legal actions. [The Guardian] Read more

19 July 2017

Europe's female imams challenge Muslim patriarchy – and fight Islamophobia

.... the efforts here, the first of their kind in Denmark, could have a much wider impact. Ms. Khankan says by challenging patriarchal structures, she and other women imams – they use the term "imamas" – can help counter growing Islamophobia across Europe. The imamas are undertaking the challenge amid a spate of terrorist attacks by Islamist extremists and raging political and cultural debates over everything from burkinis to Islam’s place in Europe.

“It’s very difficult to hold onto the narrative that Muslim women are suppressed, that Islam is a suppressive religion in its essence, when they can see that women are taking the lead and building up their own female-led mosque," says Khankan. "This is in itself proof that this anti-Islamic rhetoric is incorrect. It’s not the total picture.”

The Mariam mosque is rare but is not the first of its kind. Women have served as imams since the early 19th century in China, and now preach from the United States to South Africa. In June a well-known Muslim feminist, Seyran Ates, whose parents came to Germany as Turkish guest-workers, opened a liberal mosque in Berlin to welcome all sects of Islam, Muslims of all sexual orientation, and men and women to worship together.

“There's so much Islamist terror and so much evilness happening in the name of my religion,” she told the Associated Press, “it's important that we, the modern and liberal Muslims, also show our faces in public.” [The Christian Science Monitor] Read more

Muslim woman banned from wearing headscarf in court

A German judge has banned a Syrian woman from appearing in court without removing her headscarf, claiming “religiously-motivated” attire is prohibited.

Najat Abokal, a lawyer representing the woman, said the order was made for divorce proceedings in the district court in Luckenwalde, Brandenberg.

She said the letter warned of legal action against the woman if she does not comply, but also ordered her to appear in person to present her case against her husband.

Ms Abokal has accused the judge of acting “unconstitutionally”, the Tagesspiegel newspaper reported, saying she would contest the order amid fierce debate over Islamic dress in Germany. [The Independent] Read more

Turkey's new school curriculum drops evolution and will teach concept of jihad

Turkey's new school curriculum drops Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and adds the concept of jihad as patriotic in spirit.

The move has fuelled fears President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is subverting the republic's secular foundations.

The chairman of a teachers' union has described the changes as a huge step in the wrong direction for Turkey's schools and an attempt to avoid raising "generations who ask questions".

Ismet Yilmaz, the country's education minister, said the controversial decision to exclude the theory of evolution was "because it is above the students' level and not directly relevant."

A member of the opposition Republican People's Party, Mustafa Balbay, said any suggestion the theory was beyond their understanding was an insult to high school students.

"You go and give an 18-year old student the right to elect and be elected, but don't give him the right to learn about the theory of evolution...This is being close minded and ignorant." [The Independent] Read more

Legislation is needed to stop one ethnicity taking over a school, says Bradford superhead

Sir Nick Weller, the executive principal at Dixons Academies which runs a chain of schools in the west Yorkshire city, said that introducing a new law is the “only answer” to prevent children being segregated along ethnic lines.

He said that it is “unhealthy” for a city like Bradford to have two communities living “separate lives” and for the children to be educated at different schools.

“I think it’s unhealthy in a city like Bradford for two communities to live separate lives, which by and large they do,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“You could say Bradford is almost two communities: the Muslim community and the white community.”

Mr Weller said that rather than sending children to the closest school, parents prefer to send them further away to a school where the majority of children are from the same ethnic background.

“Families will ignore the school that is nearest them because it is predominantly of one – the wrong ethnic group – and they will send them a little bit further down the road to a school where they feel more comfortable,” said Mr Weller, who was knighted in 2015 for his services to education.

Asked if there was a “tipping point” where the proportion of one community becomes for high in a school that others are deterred from sending their children there, he said: “I think once you get to sort of 70 to 80 per cent, once you get that, then yes.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT] I am amazed if anyone surprised by this?

Feeling like a stranger in your own land, loss of cultural identity and having multiculturalism forced fed and being made to feel guilty if you are not a believer.

[ANOTHER] A political agenda


Invented to make a politician feel better

The UK experiment failed

The two sides want nothing to do with each other

Just the facts

Little wonder if you can get out you would

I see the headmaster spoke out and needed police protection for being honest ...

[ANOTHER] Bradford. Is that in Pakistan?

[ANOTHER] I used to work at Drummond Middle school pre Ray Honeyford just as Islam was starting to have an impact on it. Just before I left the Head was berated for not allowing sheep to be slaughtered for halal meat in the coke cellar. It was racist (not health and safety).

All these decades on Ray Honeyford (and Enoch Powell) are owed an apology by those champions of political correctness who hounded them.

[ANOTHER] Entirely predictable ..... and it was.

This problem has been exacerbated by the Government's policy on encouraging state-funded faith schools.

As a white, indigenous, nominally Christian English national, I would not send my child to a Muslim school.

If that child was a female. I would not want her forced to wear demeaning clothing or be taught that she is a second-class human being ...... and I wouldn't want any son learning those messages either.

There should be no state-funded faith schools. [The Telegraph] Read more

18 July 2017

Muslim woman banned from divorcing husband while wearing headscarf

A court in eastern Germany has told a Syrian woman that she is not allowed to appear in court for divorce proceedings against her husband unless she takes off her headscarf, Tagesspiegel reports.

The woman’s lawyer received a letter from the presiding judge at the district court in Luckenwalde, informing her that “religiously motivated statements, such as the wearing of a headscarf, will not be allowed” during the court case, Tagesspiegel reported on Tuesday.

The letter warned that the woman could face legal sanctions if she does not comply with the instruction. At the same time, it instructed her to appear in person for the proceedings, leaving her in an apparently impossible situation.

The woman’s lawyer now plans to take legal measures against the court instruction, claiming it to be a breach of the constitution. [The Local] Read more

Manchester Mosque gutted by fire as anti-Muslim crimes soar

A mosque in Manchester has been badly damaged by a fire that worshippers said was the third there in three years.

Police have begun an investigation into the “suspicious” blaze at the Nasfat Islamic Centre, in the northeast of the city, at 11.40pm on Sunday.

Monsurat Adebanjo-Aremu, the mosque secretary, said that in the past year somebody had thrown two pigs’ heads inside the building and urinated outside. Shamusideen Oladimeji, a spokesman for the mosque, added that it was the third fire at the building since 2014 and that the reason for them was “just hatred”.

The fire, which police believe was started when someone forced open a window and placed an “unknown accelerant inside”, is being treated as a hate crime by Greater Manchester police. In the month after the Manchester Arena bomb in May there were 224 reports of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the city compared with 37 in the same period last year.

[TOP RATED COMMENT] So sad to hear this but it is about time this community stops demanding their 'rights' day in day out of others in this country. About time they start accepting that the rest of 64 miliion here have nothing whatsoever to do with their religion.

[ANOTHER] If Muslims just integrated, quietly got on with life and earning a living - like Sikhs and Hindus - no one would mind.

There's a reason for the widespread dislike and fear about terrorism. Deliberately creating a parallel legal, and cultural system that rejects being British - yet demands all the advantages of the welfare, education and healthcare budgets doesn't encourage others to embrace it.

Given what a tiny % of the population Muslims represent, they're in the news for negative reasons an awful lot. There are reasons for this.

[ANOTHER] At least they didn't have a suicide bomber walk in and blow the place up when full of people...could have been worse. [The Times (£)] Read more

17 July 2017

Halal logos fail to tell shoppers whether animals were stunned

Meat from lambs that have had their throats cut without first being stunned is to gain an official “quality standard mark”, without customers being told of their painful deaths.

Vets and animal welfare groups have criticised the plans by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), saying that shoppers should be aware of whether animals were rendered insensible before slaughter.

The board wants to help to promote halal lamb produced to what it says will be high standards of welfare, slaughter and processing. [The Times (£)] Read more

16 July 2017

Ministers order takeover of Muslim school after it is branded unsafe

The government has ordered the takeover of one of England’s first state-funded Muslim secondary schools, an institution where a child died and offensive books were found in the library.

The books stated that a husband can beat his wife and insist on having sex with her. They were found in the library of the Al-Hijrah School in Birmingham, which became state-funded in 2001.

Amanda Spielman, chief inspector at Ofsted, the schools regulator, said Al-Hijrah would be taken over by an independent academy trust on the orders of the Department for Education.

.... For more than a year the co-educational Islamic school has fought through the courts to try to suppress an earlier critical Ofsted report that said its segregation of girls and boys for all lessons from the age of 5 to 16 was a breach of the Equality Act.

Last week appeal court judges were asked to make a definitive ruling in the case. If Ofsted wins, up to 20 faith schools that teach boys and girls separately will be reinspected and may have to change their arrangements.

Spielman said she found it “deeply frustrating” when legal challenges were “used to delay things that in our view urgently need to happen. It is rare for schools to go to court to challenge a report but sometimes the stakes are high.” [The Times (£)] Read more

15 July 2017

‘Criticism of Islam or Islamism is not anti-Muslim bigotry’

East London mosque has filed a formal complaint regarding the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s presence in Pride in London and stated that our placards, including ‘East London mosque incites murder of LGBT’ were ‘inciting hatred against Muslims’ and that the mosque had a ‘track record for challenging homophobia in East London’.

In fact, though, the very reason CEMB was at Pride was to combat hate and to highlight the 13 states under Islamic rule that kill gay men (14 if we include Daesh-held territories). We included placards on the East London mosque to bring attention to the fact that there are mosques here in Britain that promote the death penalty for homosexuality and apostasy.

As ex-Muslims, we are at risk from hate preachers that speak at some mosques and universities; our gay members are at an increased risk.

The East London Mosque has a long history of hosting hate preachers who incite against blasphemers, apostates and homosexuals so we felt naming and shaming them was very apt. [The Freethinker] Read more

Hate-spewing ISIS supporter, who posted homophobic rants online has been working as a teaching assistant in British secondary schools

Imran Miah, 27, who has taught at a number of secondary schools in Britain, set out his vile agenda on Facebook and Instagram.

He warned that religious opponents face attack with a ‘blunt butter knife’ and issued a series of deeply disturbing homophobic statements. In one sickening post, he endorsed the barbaric execution of homosexuals.

As well as celebrating IS military victories on Facebook, Miah also uploaded a photograph of the terror group’s black flag and mocked the traditional minute’s silence for its victims.

A supply teaching assistant, Miah is believed to have worked at a number of state schools in London and beyond.

Last night, politicians reacted with disbelief that someone with such views could work in schools and called for an urgent police investigation. In common with all teachers, Miah would have been vetted by the criminal record checking service. But as he used a pseudonym online, his rants apparently went undetected.

In recent years the Government have grown increasingly concerned about the risk of radicalisation in schools, though their fears have normally been confined to faith schools and attempts to introduce a radical Islamist ethos. [Daily Mail] Read more

14 July 2017

UK event hears call for action on anti-Muslim coverage

U.K. politicians should consider regulation to tackle the tide of negative media coverage about British Muslims.

This was the message from a Liverpool conference this week which examined damaging and biased news stories about Britain’s Muslim community.

The event, organized by Dr. Salman Azami of Liverpool Hope University, saw academics and journalists discuss the effects of unfair and stereotyped portrayals of Muslims.

One of its key findings was the need to raise awareness on issues facing Britain’s Muslims by urging politicians to engage more with the community.

Azami told Anadolu Agency he wanted the event to look at “whether the media coverage on Muslims in Britain is effective or counterproductive, whether it is sensitive or insensitive, whether it is fair or unfair”.

“There are a lot of negativities; I think there should be some sort of regulation that politicians need to think about,” Azami added.

He also urged British lawmakers to act against deliberately negative media coverage on Islam-related stories. [Anadolu Agency] Read more

Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali urges Australians to boycott ALL halal-certified food so they're not funding Muslim schools and mosques - and wants immigrants to be quizzed on child brides and female circumcision

An internationally prominent Islam critic Ayaan Hirsi Ali is urging Australians to boycott halal-certified food so they're not funding Muslim schools, mosques and Islamist propaganda.

The producers of popular supermarket items like Vegemite and Cadbury chocolates pay halal fees to third-party certifiers to declare the products are fit for Muslims.

Ms Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born author now living with bodyguards in the United States, says halal-certification is an example of a campaign to Islamise the West, as part of a political strategy called 'dawa'.

'I would have a boycott - all halal food,' she told Daily Mail Australia from an undisclosed location in the U.S..

'It's not fair to Muslims and non-Muslims to be the victims of a marketing scheme that's mainly used to support an ideology ... that violates the rights of humans.'

The writer, who wants Islamic schools in Australia shut down, said halal-certifed food and meat slaughtered in accordance with Muslim tradition needed to be more clearly labelled. [Daily Mail Australia] Read more

13 July 2017

Does the Burqa Have a Future in Europe?

.... The Strasbourg-based court’s unanimous ruling Tuesday determined that the 2011 Belgian law, which prohibits people from wearing clothing that partly or completely covers the face in public, is justifiable under the European Convention on Human Rights because it aims to “guarantee the conditions of ‘living together’ and the ‘protection of the rights and freedoms of others.’”

The two Muslim women—one a Belgian national, the other Moroccan—who had brought the case to court argued that the ban violates the rights of veiling-wearing women to religious freedom and privacy. The court ruled that it does not.

This isn’t the first time the ECHR has come to this conclusion. When the court considered France’s burqa ban in 2014, it accepted the French government’s argument that the ban was aimed not at targeting Muslim women’s freedom of religion, but rather at the “legitimate aim” of preserving the idea of living together.

Citing its previous ruling in the S.A.S. v France case, ECHR said in Tuesday’s decision that “the concern to ensure respect for the minimum guarantee of life in society could be regarded as an element of the ‘protection of the rights and freedoms of others’ and that the ban was justifiable in principle solely to the extent that it sought to guarantee the conditions of ‘living together.’” [The Atlantic] Read more

Prohibition on burkini in public swimming baths may be discriminatory

The Inter-federal Centre for Equal Opportunities, UNIA, this weekend expressed a negative opinion relating to the prohibition of the swimming costume covering the entire body (or the burkini) in public swimming baths.

The Centre had been approached by Flemish cities, towns and communes to provide advice upon the issue.

UNIA, which bases its advice upon the arguments put forward by the Flemish Agency for Care and Health, says that this prohibition is without legal basis. It poses no problem as regards hygiene and safety, and the costume would not jeopardize male-female equality.

Several cities, towns and communes in Flanders, including Ghent and Leuven, as well as individual swimmers, have contacted UNIA regarding this prohibition.

The Director of UNIA, Els Keytsman, indicated, “In recent years we have received several dozen indications on the part of supporters and opponents asking questions.” The Centre, which is not a specialist in the field, has turned to the Flemish Agency for Care and Health and the “Gender” section of the Flemish Mediation Service. UNIA adds that it appears that “none of the arguments put forward in favour of the prohibition has any basis in law.” [The Brussels Times] Read more

Saudi Arabia boosting extremism in Europe, says former ambassador

Saudi Arabia has been funding mosques throughout Europe that have become hotbeds of extremism, the former British ambassador to Saudi Arabia Sir William Patey has said.

His remarks come a day after the government published a brief summary of a Home Office-commissioned report into the funding of extremism in the UK. The full report is not being published for security reasons

Patey said he did not believe Saudi Arabia was directly funding terrorist groups, but rather an ideology that leads to extremism, and suggested that its leaders might not be aware of the consequences. “It is unhealthy and we need to do something about it,” he said.

“The Saudis [have] not quite appreciated the impact their funding of a certain brand of Islam is having in the countries in which they do it – it is not just Britain and Europe.

“That is a dialogue we need to have. They are not funding terrorism. They are funding something else, which may down the road lead to individuals being radicalised and becoming fodder for terrorism.” [The Guardian] Read more

Non-Muslims Forced to Do Sanitation Work in Pakistan

In new measures introduced by the Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, requirements for sanitation work in Pakistan specifies that applicants must be non-Muslim. Moreover, applicants must take the religious oath on their religious holy book – Geeta or Bible – that they will never do anything else but work as a sanitation worker and will never refuse to carry out the work.

The controversial news comes after three Christian men died while cleaning a sewer in Pakistan by hand after being refused personal protective equipment or uniform.

Nasir Saeed, director of the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS-UK), which is a Christian charity dedicated to helping persecuted Christians in the country, has expressed his concern over the growing situation against religious minorities in the country. He said,

“Minorities are facing discrimination in all walks of life and even their worship places, properties and honour is not safe. They see no future for themselves and for their future generations and are now forced to flee the country.” [Conatus News] Read more